Previously, a petition process requiring signatures of 60 percent of affected-area landowners could halt the forced annexation attempts of a municipality. The new law allows affected residents to hold a referendum. A simple majority vote against the annexation would block it; a simple majority in favor would allow it.
Annexation has long been a hot-button local issue. And during his 2010 election campaign, Moffitt, a Republican, took a strong stance against efforts by the city of Asheville to forcibly annex the Biltmore Lake area. He faces Democratic challenger Jane Whilden, who he beat in 2010, in the fall.
At this writing, Moffitt hadn't returned a call from Xpress seeking comment.
For more on this issue, read Associated Press coverage here or watch WLOS coverage here.